Devoured this story in a cross country flight. This was my first taste of Ishiguro, I was lured into the work by the seductive display at the Mission branch library. Easy, facile writing style; excellent use of foreshadowing or clue dropping or seeding of the story. I imagine it to be extremely difficult to write a story set in a “current” setting with a couple crucial details changed without sounding hokey, but he pulls it off.
The story is written from Kathy H.’s perspective, as a carer and future donor. The story revolves around the golden age growing up at Hailsham with Ruth & Tommy. The children were clones, thus bred to donate organs and to care for those who were undergoing organ donation prior to “completing” (e.g. dying). They are encouraged at Hailsham to explore their art, to compete to see whose work gets chosen by Madame for the mythical “Gallery”. This is a coming-of-age story, with a twist. Kathy & Tommy always have a connection, yet Tommy & Ruth end up as a couple. Years later, Ruth reveals her worst action was to keep them apart when they were clearly meant for each other.
The title comes from a song on Kathy’s cassette tape long lost (all lost items end up in Norfolk) then rediscovered in a 2nd hand shop by Tommy & Kathy in Norfolk during the road trip with Ruth, Chrissie & Rodney to find Ruth’s “possible” (e.g. possible model for her cloning).